Brae of Cultullich (6), Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 8818 4906

Getting Here

X supposedly marks the spot

Out of Aberfeldy, take the A826 road as if you’re going up Glen Cochill.  Not far up, just where the housing of Aberfeldy itself ends and the green fields open up either side of you, keep on the road for a half-mile where you meet a small copse of trees on your left, with a dirt-track that runs down the slope.  Go along the track for 0.8 miles (1.3km), past the Ursa Major Stone and where the track splits, go left past the Quartz Stone and follow the track through the farmyard.  It’s somewhere there – or is supposed to be!

Archaeology & History

On our visit here, we couldn’t locate the cup-and-ring stone that’s described in Sonia Yellowlee’s (2004) regional rock art survey.  She described it, only as archaeologists ever do, in the briefest manner, telling us simply:

“Leaning against a pile of rubble in the farmyard there is a split boulder bearing eighteen cupmarks, one of which is ringed.”

It may have been destroyed, as we were told by a couple of locals that there used to be “a real miserable sod” living there.  When we visited the place and tried to ask the present farm owner, sadly he wasn’t to be found.  If any rock art explorer manages to locate this seemingly lost cup-and-ring, please let us know – and mebbe send us some photos so that we can add them to this site profile. 😉

References:

  1. Yellowlees, Sonia, Cupmarked Stones in Strathtay, RCHAMS 2004.

Acknowledgements:  Big thanks to the crew – this time being Neens Harris, Paul Hornby & Frank Mercer.  And the stunning resource of Scotland’s 1st edition OS-maps is Reproduced with the kind permission of the National Library of Scotland

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.620009, -3.823868 Brae of Cultullich (6)

Quartz Stone, Brae of Cultullich, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 88104 49001

Also Known as:

  1. Brae of Cultullich (4)

Getting Here

The cupmarked Quartz Stone

Out of Aberfeldy, take the A826 road as if you’re going up Glen Cochill.  Not far up, just where the housing of Aberfeldy itself ends and the green fields open up either side of you, keep on the road for a half-mile where you meet a small copse of trees on your left, with a dirt-track that runs down the slope.  Go down here and follow the slightly meandering track for 0.8 miles (1.3km), a short distance past the Ursa Major Stone where the track splits.  Take the track to the left and there, less than 100 yards on you’ll hit a large boulder on your left.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Not previously recorded, this simple cup-marked stone will probably only be of interest to petroglyph aficionados, or those folk who are into  ‘energies’ at sites.  This latter aspect is due entirely to the carving being etched onto a huge rock, much of which is composed of quartz—which isn’t too unusual in this part of the world.  But that aside…

Looking down at the cups
The cupmarks highlighted

It is one in a group of carvings within a few hundred yards of each other, with its nearest neighbour 20 yards to the north.  That one’s covered in cups—but on this large Quartz Stone, only two of them exist, on the top near the centre.  Just a couple of inches across and half-an-inch deep, they’re pretty clear once you see them.  The raised piece of ground behind the stone is artificial and has variously been described by antiquarians and archaeologist alike, as either a prehistoric dun, or a stone circle.  Whatever it may be, some of it is certainly man-made.  Check it out – and mebbe ask the friendly fat fella who lives nearby what he thinks.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.619461, -3.825080 Quartz Stone

Ursa Major Stone, Brae of Cultullich, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 87958 49022

Also Known as:

  1. Brae of Cultullich (3)

Getting Here

The stone from the trackside

Out of Aberfeldy, take the A826 road as if you’re going up Glen Cochill.  Not far up, just where the housing of Aberfeldy itself ends and the green fields open up either side of you, keep on the road for a half-mile where you meet a small copse of trees on your left, with a dirt-track that runs down the slope.  Go down the track, bending to the right, then the left and then on for a quarter of a mile until the lines of trees appear either side of you.  Barely 200 yards along, the track swerves slowly to your right, and the field above you slopes uphill.  Keep your eyes peeled at the fencing on your right and you’ll see a stone sloping towards you right by the fence with faint cupmarks on it.  You’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

A truly fascinating cup-marked stone recently uncovered by Paul Hornby on another one of our TNA meanderings. Fascinating because of the curious arrangement of the cups on the stone.  Often, cup-marked stones have little to interest the causal visitor – but this one’s different.  As can be seen quite clearly, the cups are arranged in the shape of the constellation of the Great Bear, or Ursa Major – albeit with an extra ‘star’ in this design.  But it’s damn close!  In all likelihood (he says with his sceptical head on 😉 ), the design is fortuitous when it comes to the Ursa Major.  I know from many years experience how easy it is to see meaningful shapes and designs in the almost entirely abstract British petroglyphs, but the design is very close to the constellation we all got to know when we were kids.

Looking along the stone
Gazing down at Ursa Major

The stone itself slopes upwards at an angle of about 60º, before starting to level out as it rises.  All of the cupmarks have been pecked onto this sloping surface (the vast majority of carvings are found on top of stones).  Altogether, at least twelve faint and shallow cups were exposed when we looked at it—measuring the usual inch to inch-and-half across—but it is likely that more of them are hidden beneath the turf at the top of the stone.  We could discern no rings or other features in the design.

This is just one carving amidst a good cluster of petroglyphs within a few hundred yards of each other (the Quartz Stone being one of the nearest) that are well worth checking out if you like your rock art.  It may also be of interest to astronomy students, or those exploring archaeo-astronomy.

References:

  1. Yellowlees, Sonia, Cupmarked Stones in Strathtay, RCHAMS 2004.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.619617, -3.827468 Ursa Major Stone